Does the question of how long your tyres’ lifespan and when to change your motorcycle tyres cause you sleepless nights?
It’s a combination of age and wear. On average, the front tyre will last 3,500 miles and the rear tyre half of that mileage. If you daily commute, expect to change your tyres more than the weekend rider. Ageing tyres deteriorate, so visual inspections are necessary.
How many miles will motorcycle tyres last?
It’s a loaded question. If you ride like Francesco Bagnaia every day of the week, you will be changing front and rear tyres very quickly. The life span of your tyres will depend on your riding style.
Let’s assume you are an average rider commuting to work every day. Your tyres with regular use will wear at different rates. Your front tyre will last around 3,500 miles, depending on your ability to corner at speed.
Your rear tyre wears twice as quickly as the front tyre, so you can expect to replace the rear tyre around 1,500 miles.
Compared to car tyres, motorcycle tyres wear very quickly, but you have to accept that the forces a motorcycle tyre experiences is far greater than a car tyre.
We also need to assume the life span of motorcycle tyres of the weekend rider. The wear rate should be similar i9f the rider is on the highway riding usually.
The weekend rider is likely to replace the tires on the motorcycle due to the degradation of the rubber tyres over time rather than wearing the tire out.
The weekend rider will need to inspect his tyres frequently visually. If you ride once a week or less, you should check your tyre pressure before you ride, which is ideal for a visual inspection of both front and rear tyres.
Of course, over and under-inflation will dramatically affect the life of your tyres, so ride with the recommended tyres pressures at all times.
If you are riding on the motorway daily, you run the risk of squaring off your tyres which will need replacing sooner than waiting for the tyre to wear to its lower limits.
If you do track days, your tyres could need replacing after a few hours.
How often should I change my motorcycle tyres?
If your tyre has a puncture, you need to replace it regardless of wear.
Your tyres have to wear indicators; they are small bumps at the base of the tread pattern. The height of these wear indicators is 1mm of an inch which is the legal limit. If you use the tyres past this indicator, your tyres may not perform as they should, endangering the rider.
It can be challenging to measure rear tyre tread depth, so the law demands 1mm tread depth across ¾ of the tyre.
It is sound advice to replace your tyres before touching the wear indicators for safety reasons.
If you are a fair-weather rider and are unlikely to hit the wear indicators, then you should visually inspect your tyres for cracking and degradation. Cracking has little to do with the actual manufacturing date on the tyre.
Tyres cracking is connected to the temperature and humidity of the atmosphere. If you live in a hot country, tyres get dry rot and dry rot in cold countries.
Tyres crack on the shoulders or sides more than the tread pattern.
To be safe, consider your tyre not fit for purpose if it is five years old and replace the tyre.
Change your tyre if it is damaged in any way. Even slight nicks on the sidewall can have catastrophic consequences.
Uneven wear across the tread pattern indicates a problem that needs to be investigated. If you have uneven wear on your tyres, resolve the problem and replace the tyres.
What is the shelf life for motorcycle tires?
It’s fair to say if a tyre is 5 years old or older, it has passed its shelf life and should be replaced, even if it does not show signs of cracking or degradation.
Every tyre has its manufacturing date stamped on the sidewall. Checking the age of the tyre is easy.
How do you know when you need new motorcycle tires?
There are so many reasons to change your motorcycle tyres frequently. If your tyres have reached the minimum tread depth indicators, you should change your tyres.
It is recommended to change your tyres before getting to the minimum tread depth indicator. Once you are at the minimum tread, you will have lost some of the performance capabilities of the tyre.
Uneven tread wear could be a misaligned tyre or a faulty wheel bearing. Do not ride with uneven tread patterns.
If you get a puncture that goes flat, replace the tyre immediately. Use a professional tyre garage to remove and fit a new tyre.
If your tyre is damaged in any way, replace the tyre.
Visual inspections of your tyres take very little time and can be completed when you check your tyre air pressure. If you see signs of damage or excess wear, it is time to change your tyres.
How long do motorcycle tires last?
It depends on a few things, how often the motorcycle is used, the weight of the motorcycle and the riding style of the rider.
If you push your motorcycle to the limits with speed and cornering, then it would be reasonable to expect your motorcycle tyres to wear quickly.
However, if you are an average rider commuting to and from work daily, you can expect your motorcycle tyres to last at least 3,500 miles for the front rea and 1,500 for the rear tyre.
Obviously, there is a margin, either way, depending on the owner’s riding style, but these are reasonable averages to keep in mind.
These low milages could be racked up quarterly quite quickly, so it’s essential to invest in decent tyres to get the maximum life out of the tyre for your money.
Now comes the weekend or fairweather rider. If you are not clocking up the miles every weekend, then your tyres will last considerably longer than the tyres of a daily rider.
However, leaving rubber for long periods is not an ideal situation. It is usual for the tyre to deflate, which exacerbates the rubber degradation process.
If you ride your motorcycle on high days and holidays, you need to pay a great deal of attention to the condition of your tyres.
Old tyes can look perfect, but they have become hard and have lost some of their grips. Can you scrub the tyres to give them more grip? Nope, once it’s degraded, the tyre needs to be replaced.
Other factors that affect how often your tyres need to be replaced are if the tyre has become damaged in any way, from a puncture or kerbing.
It can be tempting to look at a perfectly good tyre and continue riding. However, damaging the bead or damaging the rubber and steel in the tyre can have enormous consequences.
Do motorcycle tires go bad with age?
Yes, Every motorcycle has a date stamp on the sidewall, and it’s worth checking you are buying a recently manufactured tyre to get the best performance.
It is unlikely that your local tyre shop has had your particular size of tyre sitting on the shelf for the past ten years, and you inadvertently buy it and fit it on your motorcycle.
In fact, most tyre shops have their tyres delivered to order to prevent such a thing from happening, but it’s worth speaking with the tyre fitter to identify the date of manufacture to have peace of mind your new tyre is going to have the performance you expect.
Are 15-year-old motorcycle tires safe? No, even if your motorcycle is vintage, don’t be tempted to fit a 15-year-old tyre. You are asking for serious problems.
Are 10-year-old motorcycle tires safe? No, again, don’t be tempted. The rubber in the tyre has hardened even if it has not cracked. It has lost its grip properties and will probably fail shortly after fitting it to your motorcycle.
Are 5-year-old motorcycle tires safe? It’s borderline! If you have a tyre that is 5 years old, swap it for a new tyre.
Tyres degrade over time when left sitting around in garages. Once the tyres degrade, they will lose grip, and the tyre becomes hard.
Use new tyres only!